Intel is Wasting Time With 802.11a Centrino




The introduction of the 802.11a version of Intel Corp.’s wireless chip, part of its Centrino mobile package, will be delayed past its expected arrival at the end of the third quarter, an Intel spokesman said Thursday.

Call me crazy, but 802.11a seemed to be desirable for about 20 minutes.

Can you use 802.11a at a Starbucks?  What about the thousands of other for-fee access points throughout the world?  How many 802.11a community (read: free) access points are there in the wild?  Does it interoperate With 802.11b or 802.11g?

I honestly think that Intel would be better off spending their time and money elsewhere, preferably in ramping up their 802.11g efforts.  True, the 5GHz spectrum is a lot less crowded.  However, 802.11a is going to be in competition with the newest cordless phones as 5GHz cordless phones become the next chic tech.  I’m sure other gadgets will find use for the somewhat lonely 5GHz spectrum in the near future.

This move (and plans to add 802.11g to the chipset) is also seriously diluting the Centrino brand that Intel has spent so much money on creating.  Last week, Centrino meant 802.11b (along with the required audio chipset and other baggage).  This week the wireless portion of Centrino means 802.11b + 802.11a.  Later this year, it is going to mean 802.11b + 802.11a + 802.11g.

Is anyone else confused?